Safety equipment installed in the home can reduce pediatric injuries. The purpose of this study was to compare the proper use of home safety equipment installed by an injury prevention specialist to equipment installed by a family after distribution at a daycare.METHODS
A prospective study involving two daycare organizations from a high-risk community was performed. Both groups consisted of families with children 4 to 24 months old who received a packet containing: cabinet and drawer latches, carbon monoxide (CO) detector, magnetic phone list, and five other items. After consent was obtained, both groups completed a prescreen survey to determine current equipment use. The self-installation group (SI) from one daycare received home safety equipment and education for self-installation of the equipment. The professional installation group (PI) from a comparable daycare received the same equipment and education; however, equipment was installed for them. Assessments of equipment usage and maintenance were performed at follow-up home visits 6 to 9 months after equipment disbursement. Frequencies and χ2 analysis were used for comparisons.RESULTS
Seventy-nine SI families and 81 PI families were enrolled. There was no difference in home equipment use between the groups prior to interventions with CO detectors (11.4% vs. 12.3%), cabinet locks (2.5% vs. 11.1%), drawer locks (0% vs. 2.5%), or posted emergency numbers (24.1% vs. 19.8%). Follow-up home visits occurred in 71 SI families (87.7%) and 75 PI families (92.6%). In both groups, there was a significantly increased use of CO detectors (73.2% vs. 89.3%, p = 0.02), cabinet locks (38.0% vs. 78.7%, p < 0.001), and drawer locks (22.5% vs. 62.7%, p < 0.001); posted emergency number increased in both groups, but the difference was not significant (78.9% vs. 89.3%, p = 0.11).CONCLUSION
When provided with home safety equipment, it is used much of the time; however, equipment installed by a professional resulted in higher use than if self-installed. For some equipment, distribution of products in daycare settings may be just as effective as if professionally installed.